Editor,

I worked for 18 months with the City of Tracy as a Transportation Commissioner, appointed by the Council. I resigned as I moved out of the area. As it has happened with many of us, COVID has presented some life changes.

I was hoping to see-through the work many of our leaders have been working on, including lowering the impact of vehicles on our highways with the introduction of the proposed Valley Link rail system. The challenge is, Tracy is not dense, and will not support a high-frequency train with how it’s presently developed. We must have density -- homes throughout downtown and into the identified annex near MacArthur at Schulte -- in order to support a train.

If you want an example of what a train looks like without density, look at the SMART train system that runs from Santa Rosa to Marin. It has few transit oriented development improvements and is presently teetering on failure, after only a few years.

Measure Y was defeated, however Tracy must move forward with density in key areas as a priority: If Tracy indeed wants a train, and wishes to improve transportation, things must change. To wit: The city must appoint community members who are truly interested in transit, the planning that goes into it, and understanding modern transit concepts in order to better advise the council, as the position necessitates.

I encourage the city's leaders to look carefully at who they put in my seat and all future openings on the transportation commission. The city as a whole must look at transportation oriented development along with the train, as a singular issue. You cannot have the train without the development.

Jacob Hunter, San Francisco (former Tracy resident)

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